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Charles Gravier Vergennes, comte de

Vergennes, Charles Gravier, comte de (shärl grävyāˈ kôNt də vĕrzhĕnˈ) [key], 1717–87, French statesman. After serving as ambassador at Trier, Constantinople, and Stockholm (where in 1772 he participated in the coup of Gustavus III), he was made (1774) foreign minister by Louis XVI. He supported the American Revolution, at first secretly through Pierre de Beaumarchais, then officially after signing, with Benjamin Franklin, the alliance of Feb. 6, 1778. Vergennes was the chief French representative at the peace negotiations between Great Britain and the United States, France, and Spain at the close of the American Revolution (see Paris, Treaty of, 1783). He also assisted in negotiating the Treaty of Teschen (1779) between Austria and Prussia at the close of the War of the Bavarian Succession.

See J. J. Meng, The Comte de Vergennes (1932).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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